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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019
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Disappointment for Paul Redmond despite a courageous display in tonight's UFC debut

The man from Dublin suffered a unanimous-decision loss to the excellent Mirsad Bektic.

PAUL REDMOND’S UFC career got off to a difficult start tonight in Stockholm.

After a brave performance against undefeated US featherweight Mirsad Bektic, Redmond finished on the wrong side of a unanimous decision.

Redmond only took the fight on two weeks’ notice, stepping in as a replacement for the injured Alan Omer to fight in the 145lbs division — despite being a lightweight (155lbs) up until now.

It was a tough cut for Redmond, who ultimately missed weight by tipping the scales 3lbs above the limit. That clearly took its toll on the Dublin native as he understandably appeared to run out of steam in the second round.

The vast majority of the bout was played out on the ground, with Bektic always in top position. The 23-year-old was constantly active and looked extremely comfortable. Redmond was good defensively but was unable to respond with anything to trouble his opponent.

Bektic unloaded with some heavy ground-and-pound which opened up a deep cut above Redmond’s left eye, although there was a suggestion — made by UFC commentator Dan Hardy — that it was Bektic’s head that did the damage. If so, it wasn’t spotted by the referee.

In the second round, Bektic clipped Redmond early and later attacked a rear-naked choke, but the exhausted Irishman held on until the buzzer. Redmond was tagged again early in the third and final round, but Bektic was unable to stop the 28-year-old before the judges were called in to action.

The scorecards had it 30-27, 30-27, 30-25 to Bektic, who has the potential to be a big star based on his performance tonight — in what was his second UFC win, which takes him to 9-0 for his career.

Redmond goes to 10-5 but will be looking forward to showing what he can do in the UFC with the benefit of a full fight-camp under his belt.

A dominant Neil Seery has picked up another Irish UFC win in Stockholm

‘I only started this because I was a fat kid trying to lose a bit of weight’

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Paul Dollery

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